"I Lost My Mom to Facebook" [Content Made Simple]
Issue #278: Why we love TikTok, building a platform, and more.
TOP OF THE WEEK
If the digital bloodstream is infected, we can’t just ignore it. We need to pump antibodies into the system. That means more good content, not less. We’re living in a digital Babylon. If you think the only answer is escape, you’ll stick with ideas 1 to 4. But, as God told the Jewish exiles in the heart of Babylon, “seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jer. 29:7). As digital exiles, we should seek the welfare of our internet home, making it a better place for human life to flourish.
You ever read something and think, “Man I wish I would have written that!”? That’s one of the first things that came to my mind when I read this great piece from Patrick Miller yesterday. It blends so nicely with the topic of my next book (which has an Amazon page now, actually). I will probably even end up citing part of this piece in the book! Great read.
(P. S. Patrick and I talked on a podcast recently and you can listen to that here. It’s one of my favorite podcasts I’ve done this year.)
THE TRIVIA QUESTION
Who is the shortest U.S. President, coming in at 5ft. 4in.?
(Hint: he was president in the 1800s.)
Answer at bottom of email.
HITTING THE LINKS
This isn’t really related to social media much at all. But man, one of the craziest things I’ve read in a while.
On Monday the user @i_zzzzzz -- a person to whom I feel personally indebted for their coinage of the extremely useful term “chaos meal” -- revealed what seemed like a new instance of this time-honored archetype. “This guy on Hacker News is buying up the entire town of Pine Bluff, Arkansas for reasons that seem unclear even to him. Someone please help him go home to his children,” @i_zzzzzz wrote.
Man the interactivity of some of these NYT pieces is so great. Fascinating article here.
Welcome to the era of the audio meme, a time when replicable units of sound are a cultural currency as strong as — if not stronger than — images and text. Though TikTok didn’t invent the audio meme, its effortless interface may have perfected it, and the platform, which recently ended Google’s 15-year-long run as the most visited website in the world, would be nothing without sound.
This is just so good.
In this internet and social media age, it’s easy for leaders and creators of all types to imagine ourselves as the exception to the model that has been set before us. We can put the word “gospel” on any ambition and believe it deserves to be blessed and popular. But a gospel label doesn’t mean our motives are pure, nor does it ensure our hearts will not wander.
THE FUNNY PART
You can subscribe to The Funnies here. (It is a weekly email of funny internet content, and it will always be free.)